Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) chairman Arjuna Ranatunga has blamed the IPL for depriving the board of $3 million due to cancellation of next year’s England tour because of non-availability of senior Lankan players who will play in the Indian Premier League.
“The SLC would have got $3 million, including $2 million for TV rights, which we have been deprived off as our senior players are contracted to play for the Indian Premier League and our tour to England has been cancelled,” Ranatunga said here.
He said it was “unfair” the SLC does not gain any money for releasing its players for the IPL even while agents get commissions from the fee paid to players taking part in the BCCI-backed tournament. “One thing the players should remember is that they are employees of SLC. Every year, we sign about 40 cricketers from the national and ‘A’ teams. We give them very attractive contracts.
“It is SLC that looks after the players from the junior level and brings them to the level of national cricket by spending a lot of money. SLC should get some money from these cricketers rather than allow them to make payments to some outside agent. This way, we will safeguard our cricketers and make use of the money for cricket development,” Ranatunga said.
He also said that the SLC would have to take steps to ensure it becomes the sole representative of its players and earns revenue from any future contract the players sign with other organisations.
The eight IPL teams between them have 13 top Sri Lankan players on three-year contracts, including captain Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas, for enormous amounts.
But Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their 1996 World Cup title, said Sri Lanka’s senior cricket players are paid well in the country, with each of them earning 40-45 million Sri Lankan rupees last year.
He, however, refused to react to reports of a breakdown in ties with the BCCI, following a recent meeting between Indian officials and Lankan representatives to negotiate a multi-million dollar deal.
Ranatunga also said there was no official proposal on the Twenty20 Champions League paying $40 million to SLC for the next 10 years.